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CONDOCENTRIC: Parking Issues

Improperly parked motor vehicles on condominium property continue to create headaches for condominiums, unit owners, and their guests. To complicate matters, many municipalities are in the process of redrafting their parking by-laws. The city of Toronto, for example, has a new parking by-law, which is scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2002.

How to remove improperly parked vehicles, particularly without incurring any cost continues to be a challenge for condominiums. The following steps may, however, help eliminate this problem.

Parking Rules: The first step is to look to the condominium's own documents. A condominium should have detailed parking rules drafted in accordance with its other documents. For example, if a condominium is faced with residents and guests parking in spaces allocated to other residents, the rules should include a provision for vehicle registration in order to facilitate identifying the owner of the vehicle.

Consistent Enforcement: Condominium rules must be consistently and reasonably enforced. The Courts have repeatedly stated that acquiescence on the part of condominiums will impact negatively upon the enforceability of rules.

Removing Vehicles: In following through on enforcement, condominiums must be careful to ensure that:

a) the condominium has the right to remove the violating vehicle;

b) the removal of a vehicle is carried out lawfully; and

c) the removal, ideally, is carried out at no cost to the condominium.

Courts have held that condominiums must act reasonably when authorizing the removal of a vehicle from the property. Reasonableness in this instance includes, but is not limited to, posting of appropriate warning signs and attempting to notify the owner of an improperly parked vehicle in an attempt to avoid towing. The new Toronto parking by-law contains many specific requirements in this regard, including the type of signage that will be required.

Through municipal by-laws, condominiums may have the opportunity to remove improperly parked vehicles, at no cost to the condominium, without relying on the attendance of a police officer. In some instances, towing may be authorized by a municipal law enforcement officer. A municipal law enforcement officer could be a member of a condominium's security staff or property management, assuming that all prerequisites are satisfied.

If you would like more advice on how to deal with parking problems or would like a copy of the new parking by-law for the City of Toronto scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2002, contact me by telephone at 416-446-0801 or at richard@elia.org.

From “Common Elements” Fall 2001
By Richard A. Elia
B. Comm. LL.B., LL.M. (ADR), A.C.C.I.

T:  416-446-0800 ext 801
F:  416-446-0804
E:  richard@elia.org
Toll-Free: 1-866-446-0811
 

All of the information contained in this article is of a general nature for informational purposes only, and is not intended to represent the definitive opinion of the firm of Elia Associates on any particular matter. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this newsletter is accurate and up-to-date, the reader should not act upon it without obtaining appropriate professional advice and assistance.

www.elia.org

© Elia Associates Professional Corporation, All Rights Reserved.

 
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 All of the information contained in this article is of a general nature for informational purposes only, and is not intended to represent the definitive opinion of the firm of Elia Associates on any particular matter. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this newsletter is accurate and up-to-date, the reader should not act upon it without obtaining appropriate professional advice and assistance.

www.elia.org  

© Elia Associates Professional Corporation, All Rights Reserved.